The Southern African Wildlife College
(SAWC) and Vulcan Inc.
announce partnership to expand local capacity to train, deploy and provide ongoing support of Vulcan EarthRanger, a data visualization and analysis software for Protected Area Management. The partnership will also enable the SAWC to offer their conservation and natural resource management students training on EarthRanger.
Through this new partnership, the SAWC will offer EarthRanger deployment, configuration, and support services at local rates to wildlife reserves, protected area managers and staff. It also allows the SAWC to include EarthRanger as part of their training curriculum to serve communities across Africa. This offer enables an increasing number of conservation professionals the opportunity to implement EarthRanger as part of their daily work.
“The SAWC’s Applied Learning Unit has been set up to help address current and pressing conservation challenges. What is clear across many, if not all of these challenges, is that the conservation industry could benefit greatly from more efficient collection and use of good quality data. Technology is becoming an increasingly vital part of wildlife conservation and it’s the cooperation and involvement of companies like Vulcan that make it possible to expand access to training for rangers and conservation professionals,” said Dr Cleo Graf who leads development at the SAWC’s Applied Learning Unit.
In facilitating the support, use, testing for purpose and evaluation of data collection and monitoring tools such as EarthRanger, the SAWC will, with funding from Vulcan, be recruiting and developing an additional staff member to specifically work towards demonstrating, implementing and providing training on EarthRanger and associated technology solutions.
EarthRanger is an easy-to-use software solution that helps protected area managers make informed operational decisions for wildlife conservation. Real-time data from ranger patrols, remote imaging and a growing list of sensors can be visualized and analyzed in context with historical trends, animal movements, and ecological changes. By working closely with operational staff on the ground and making the collected data easily available for integration and sharing, EarthRanger empowers the safeguarding of our world’s wildlife and habitats.
“We are thrilled to work with a world-class institution dedicated to education, skills development and wildlife conservation using an applied learning approach,” said Bruce Jones, Partnership Manager at Vulcan. “South Africa is quickly becoming an innovation hub for conservation technology in the sub-Saharan region and Vulcan is proud to partner with SAWC to test, monitor and provide more protected areas with the training and resources they need to prevent and mitigate wildlife threats.”
The SAWC is a not-for-profit, training institution that interacts with a wide range of partners, organisations and students from southern Africa and further afield. These include international NGO’s, national and provincial governments, and private land owners, and businesses. Each year the SAWC trains between 1,400 and 2,000 students, which since its inception totals over 17,500 students, from 56 countries and with a footprint extending over 100 million acres.
“In order to continue to have a progressive influence on the sector, we need to find ways to remain at the forefront of developments and to become financially self-sustainable. Support from Vulcan would help us achieve both these targets within the Applied Learning Unit, whilst meeting our joint mission of having a positive impact on conservation,” said Graf.
Vulcan Inc. pursues initiatives and projects that seek to change the trajectory of some of the world’s most difficult challenges. We work to improve our planet and support our communities through catalytic technology, philanthropy, scientific research, story-telling and commercial ventures. Founded by technologist and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, Vulcan continues to develop and grow the ideas about which he was passionate.
Southern African Wildlife College
The Southern African Wildlife College, which was established in 1996, is based 10 km west of the Kruger National Park in South Africa. It is a non-profit, public benefit organization aimed at promoting thought leadership and empowering people to manage and conserve some of the world’s most biologically diverse areas. It uses an applied learning methodology to deliver conservation education, training and skills development programs both on site and across the region. In doing so the College provides tomorrow’s conservation leaders and practitioners, including natural resource managers, field rangers, guides, wildlife monitors and the community, with the skills needed to become partners in our conserving our natural heritage in responsible, inclusive and economically sustainable ways.
For more information, visit www.wildlifecollege.org.za.